A Musical Dedication: Happy Birthday Liesel!

Well, today is my sister Liesel’s birthday. I have always looked up to her … and though I was extremely annoying as a little sister for as least my first 15 years of life (if not to this day), she has always been there for me. Unspoken communication to detailed, highly complex verbal explanations for things … we can talk about it all and sort through most things, almost surely coming out with an expert recommendation to ourselves or others. I really love that.

Liesel taught me how to write a letter and not misspell every werd. I mean word. She pulled a rusty nail out of my six year old foot and hustled me to the hospital. We made Kraft dinner and ate box cakes and rhubarb pies and honey nut cheerios. She taught me that it was cool to be athletic. And that trying really hard is virtuous. Liesel has been damn good at every single thing she has ever tried. I try to do that. I still suck at some things though. She works hard. And smartly. I work hard and try to work smartly and she taught me that by example.

Liesel has always liked very specific things. She knows what she likes and doesn’t give a fuck if other people like it or not. That is admirable. Michaela and I remember you listening to the best music. I still listen to the music you loved in the 80s. I know that you kind of hate it a bit now … but I still really like it. Probably because it reminds me of growing up with you.

And now we’re grown up (kind of). And there has been some real shit to deal with – and you have totally been there to help me deal with it. Cancer sucked but it sucked a lot less than it would have with you there, running stairs with me, thinking clearly for me … as me … as I would have tried to think had I not been completely freaking out. You were my thinking proxy. Forever thank you for that.

Happy Birthday Dr. Liesel Ritchie. You’re the bomb and really set the bar among us kids – imagine if you had been a completely lazy, do-nothing, activity-hating, school-flunking big sister? Instead, you showed us the light.

Mindful Creative // December 19, 2012